'partnership is the suppression of loathing in pursuit of funding'
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
-To provide insights on historical, current and prospective linkages between changing landscapes and natural, economic, cultural and other identity features of places and regions;
-To bring forward new ideas about the landscape related identities as local and regional development assets and resources in the era of globalized economy and culture;
-To assess the role of historical geography and landscape history as platforms of landscape research and management in European contexts and their transcontinental perspectives;
-To strengthen landscape perspective as a constitutive element of sustainable development, and to promote international cooperation in landscape and development research.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
'While the results show significant variations, with some conventionalAccording to Professor Carlo Leifert, Team Leader of the QLIF Project,
crops having larger quantities of some vitamins than organic crops. But
researchers confirm that the overall trend is that organic fruit, vegetables and
milk are more likely to have beneficial compounds.'
'the compounds which have been found in greater quantities in organic produceRead more here.
include vitamin C, trace elements such as iron, copper and zinc, and secondary
metabolites which are thought to help to combat cancer and heart disease.'
For a more global perspective on the links between food, food production and health check out the latest issue of LEISA Magazine, Healthier Farmers, Better Products, available for download here.
Friday, 26 October 2007
'The speed at which mankind has used the Earth’s resources over the past 20Such doom and gloom has certainly made The Times Science Correspondent, Mark Henderson, sit up and take notice. Mr Henderson is slightly dismissive of earlier 'ten a penny doom-mongering documents' preferring the more rigorous, multi-authored approach of the UN. Maybe the likes of Greenpeace were just quicker to the chase and this UNEP report just confirms what many of these 'ten a penny' reports have been saying all along anyway. The Times reports
years has put “humanity’s very survival” at risk, a study involving 1,400
scientists has concluded.'
'researchers said agriculture depended on biodiversity but was the biggest cause
of reduced genetic diversity, species loss and habitat loss. Scientists
expressed concern for the future security of the supply of food because of the
narrow genetic base for agriculture. Just 14 animal species account for 90 per
cent of all livestock production, and 30 crops dominate global agriculture,
providing an estimated 90 per cent of the world’s calories.'
There is much to read and digest here.
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
'The World Rural Forum Association (WRF) is a forum for meeting, analysing andThere are some useful resources and links available on the website
observing rural development. It has established agreements with universities and
other educational or research centres, with farmers' associations and with NGOs
which have solid links with grass-roots organization. As a result of this work,
we avail ourselves of reliable information which enables us to analyse the
problems of farmers (men and women), stock-breeders and the inhabitants of rural
areas throughout the world and draw up proposals for courses of action.
The WRF is a non-lucrative Association of an international nature, whose activities
are carried out in a world context. It defines itself as a network which amply
covers the five continents and is formed by people and public and private
institutions, committed to the achievement of sustainable and equitable
development, particularly in the field of rural development.
In the quest for achievement of rural development, the WRF also promotes projects for cooperation in various rural areas of the world.'
Gender inequality is to be found everywhere, in the global north as well as south, rich as well as poor countries, rural and urban centres and in most sectors including agriculture. Studies in Northern Ireland, and I am sure eslewhere in the UK, EU, continue to highlight gender inequality in agriculture. Here is an interesting example from Australia set up to address such inequalities. Australian Women in Agriculture is committed to promoting the advancement of women in agriculture by:
- uniting and raising the profile of women in agriculture;
- addressing rural and agricultural inequalities;
- working to ensure the survival of agriculture for future generations;
- securing local, regional, national and international recognition; and,
- achieving the status of a political and economic force.
Might be something worthwhile to think about here.
'develops indicators that measure progress toward a sustainable economy, societyYou can search their extensive database on indicators for various sectors and also download training materials.
and environment. Sustainable Measures works with communities, companies,
regional organizations and government agencies at all levels.'
Monday, 22 October 2007
Friday, 19 October 2007
I am very happy to be able to say that the collaborative exercise was recently recognised internationally with a World Summit Award for 2007.
I have previously posted on participatorty planning. I wonder if there have been any interesting applications of participatory GIS (PGIS) in a rural context here in Ireland.
"World Rural Women's Day is the universal day that connects all women who live in
rural areas around the world and inspires them to achieve their full potential.
It is an important day for rural women as it celebrates the fact that as well as
contributing to the well being of their families, rural women play a vital role in
the development of rural economies. "My department is committed to improving the quality of rural life. For example the provision of accessible, affordable
childcare facilities for people in rural communities is something that is long
overdue. This is something that would not only make a major impact on women but
on the economic, social and well being of all families with young children. The
new Rural Development Programme will also provide the opportunity for significant
investment in rural areas to make them better places for everyone to live and
work. Women can make apositive and significant contribution by playing an active
part in identifying what is needed at a local level."
'Each year the CDI ranks 21 rich countries on how much their policies help orIreland has been ranked 10th out of the 21 countries assessed, on the basis that it's;
hurt developing countries. The starting point is that rich and poor countries
are connected in many ways--by aid, yes, but also by commerce, migration, the
environment, military affairs, and technological developments. So simple
comparisons of donors on how much aid they give as a share of gross domestic
product miss the big picture, which is why the CDI assesses policies in seven
major areas. The CDI web site offers a wealth of graphs, introductory material,
country performance reports, and technical detail.'
'strongest contributions to the development of poor countries come through its
high quality foreign aid program and its lack of arms exports to undemocratic
governments. But as one of only two countries without a national political risk
insurance agency, Ireland ranks as the least supportive CDI country of
investment in poor countries. It is also one of the lowest in government support
for technology creation and dissemination.'
There are many examples provided as to how knowledge sharing can be improved in a rural community setting. I was not able to look at too many but this brief presentation caught my attention, Enhancing knowledge sharing in the rural community.
These tools and ideas could add much value to information sharing among community groups in Ireland. Sadly I am not aware of any such initiatives here. That's not to say there is nothing exciting going on. I'm sure there is, please let me know.
'The conference aims to enhance the connections between development research and education and integrate dimensions of practice and activism. In doing so, theThere many themes running through the conference that would be of interest to rural development practitioners anywhere.
conference encourages scholars, practitioners and activists to come together to
discuss the critical issues in development research and development education,
and to share their responses to the challenges of development.'
The debates kick off on Wednesday November 7th with: 'The Global Appetite for Bio Fuels...Is it Food or Fuel?'
Speakers and panel will include David Korowicz, Feasta (The Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability), Bernard Rice, Teagasc and the Irish Bioenergy Association.
So get along and find out if it's a healthy appetite or an appetite for destruction!
The series of debates on development related issues will be held on the first Wednesday of each month from 6.15 - 7.45pm at Bewley's Café Theatre (Grafton Street). Further information at 01-478 3490 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. This event is partly funded by Irish Aid.
Thursday, 11 October 2007
'The learning objectives for the participatory project included the utilisationThe Queen's initiative has much in common with other global initiatives to learn and teach participation, many of which are captured on the Learning and Teaching for Transformation (LTT) website, which I have posted on before.
of analytical, synthesising and presentational skills; enhanced understanding of large
group participatory planning methodologies; strengthened capacity to facilitate
discussion at small and large group scales; deeper understanding of the
relationship between planning theory and practice; an ability to build concensus
related to the identification of common ground and desired futures; and a
reinforced appreciation of the value of teamwork.'
It would be interesting to know if this initiative is still ongoing in the School of Environmental Planning. It would be even better to know if there are any other similar initiatives within other disciplines at higher learning institutes in Ireland, north and south. It would be good to share these with the LTT initiative.
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
For more information on agriculture and the European Union click here.
Monday, 8 October 2007
Read more about these initiatives here.
Hans Peter Reinders writes more here.
I wonder if there are any such 'learning and sharing' farmer clubs or organisations in Ireland.
* What can change management specialists offer to sustainable development champions?
* What can organisational consultants learn from environmentalists?
* And how can we work together to get more change in the right direction in organisations?
For further information click here.
'The authors argue that exclusion deprives children of their childhood and hinders them from fully developing their capacities to contribute in a substantial way to the economic and social development of their country. Exclusion is a de facto violation of the rights of children and it is with children that the intergenerational cycle of poverty and exclusion can be broken. The report calls for immediate action on social exclusion of children in middle income countries.
A range of recommendations are suggesting including:
- educated Roma should be invited to participate in public life, on radio and television, so that people get to see Roma in other roles
- the Child Ombudsman system should have a section or person supporting the rights of excluded children with special attention to Roma children
- the welfare system should, in coordination with the other social sectors, play an important role in ensuring children and their parents are not excluded from the basic services
- access to health care for Roma children is obstructed by costs, lack of registration and discrimination. All children should be registered from birth.'
Wednesday, 3 October 2007
'The report, "Biofuels: At What Cost? Government Support for Ethanol and
Biodiesel in the European Union", questions the rationale behind the very large
sums of money being invested in support of this particular form of energy.'
The article concludes that a solution won't be reached until all standards organisations agree to a total ban on live calf exports. Surely exploring options for marketing humanely raised veal can help.
For more interesting news items and stories from the world of organic agriculture check out the relevant section of the Agricultural Biodiversity Blog
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
Having spent some time in the Pacific, I am occasionally partial to a yam or two (one if I am in Tonga!). Does anyone know the name of the shop in Limerick where the yams where purchased?
Monday, 1 October 2007
- Travellers have infant mortality rates 3 times higher than the general population.
- Travellers have stillbirth rates double that of the general population.
- Traveller men live on average 10 years less than settled men.
- Traveller women live on average 12 years less than settled women.
- Travellers of all ages have very high mortality rates compared to the Irish population.
• A voice for rural communities
• Supporting rural community development practice
• Developing civic leadership in rural communities
• Contributing to a Shared Future for rural communities
• Ensuring sustainable rural communities
• A Bill of Rights for rural
Various workshop groups were then tasked with making a case for each of the above before a Dragon's Den Panel of 'experts' and 'sceptics'.
Thanks to the staff and facilitators from RCN for an excellent and informative day
There are also an interesting short articles available online. One titled Participatory planning in Northern Ireland; the learning community approach is available from PLA Notes No. 38.
'In all countries, and in developing countries in particular, measures to helpGet informed and find out what you can do to facilitate this process, click here
older people remain healthy and active are a necessity, not a luxury.'